At a price tag of $299, the Canon Imageformula P215 personal document scanner isn’t necessarily a cheap scanner. But it indeed is an impressive portable scanner – one of the best we have seen in recent months. This small black and silver scanner fits easily in most briefcases and backpacks and is quite easy to set up and carry around.
The Imageformula P-215 personal document scanner works with both Windows and Mac operating systems. There are four ways of connecting the P-215 scanner to your laptop or PC. One is using the USB 2.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, or a USB 2.0 port and a power adapter. The best ways to connect the scanner to your laptop or PC is using two USB 2.0 ports – one for power and the other for data transfer.
The P-215 also comes with a dedicated card scanner on the bottom right of the scanner. The top surface of the open scanner has a single, illuminated power button, which can also be used to initiate a scan. This inner surface can be hinged forwards to cope with any paper jams, though we experienced none during testing.
Despite a footprint half the size of a sheet of A4 paper, it incorporates an automatic document feeder (ADF) more commonly found on full-sized scanners and MFPs. Hence, the heavy price tag. Canon offers two options for setting up the P-215. The first, and easiest, is to use the system’s CaptureOnTouch Lite plug-and-scan feature.
Built into the scanner, CaptureOnTouch lets you start scanning and saving documents to your computer without installing any software. But as convenient as CaptureOnTouch Lite is, it lacks the functionality a full install offers. For instance, you don’t get access to NewSoft’s Presto! BizCard 6 business card reader or ScanSoft’s PaperPort 11 and PageViewer software, each of which can prove quite useful to business users.
CaptureOnTouch Lite is indeed the easiest scanning program to use out of Canon’s offerings. We simply had to press the scan button on the P215’s deck and the device would immediately begin scanning our documents. Once scanned, the software let us choose if we wanted to send the file to a specific application such as Evernote, save it in a particular folder and choose the file format we wanted to use.
However, if you’re looking for more functionality, you might want to use PaperPort 11. Canon quotes speeds of up to 15-ppm for the Imageformula P-215, 30 page images per minute, if you’re scanning duplex. The feed tray can take up to 20 sheets at a time and feeds from the bottom of the stack, so multi-page documents retain their page order.
We scanned a 20-side, 10-page test document at 200-ppi to a PDF document and the scanner completed the task in 1:00, giving it a real-world speed of 10-ppm. That number is really quite impressive for a portable device. The quality of the scanned documents were good, too.
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While the P-215 isn’t really a cheap scanner, Canon makes up for the heavy price tag by bundling a good design, strong results and incredibly simple software. Hence, it earns Review Central’s Recommended nod for anyone wanting to capture stacks of documents while on the road.
Scanner Technology: CIS
Max Optical Resolution: 600dpi
Maximum Document Size: A4/Letter
USB Powered: Yes
Software Included: CaptureOnTouch, Nuance PaperPort, Presto! PageManager and BizCard Reader